The Belvedere Restaurant
Having stayed at their properties in Shanghai, Beijing and New York, this writer expected nothing less from the stellar location of the Pen Beverly Hills – just a few minutes (on foot) from the renowned Rodeo Drive. And wasn’t disappointed.
This building is refreshingly different from the ones you see around; built in the fashion of a French Riviera Palace, The Peninsula Beverly Hills is an ode to The Roaring Twenties in that it is stylish in an old Hollywood way and oozes prosperity! Think patronage of the West Coast’s crème-de-la-chic, luxuriant Oscar de la Renta bath products and hi-tech in-room technology! Boasting 195 rooms, including 38 suites and 17 private villas, besides a prime spot at the intersection of Santa Monica and Wilshire Boulevards, the Hotel is at once impressively accessible and impeccably bustling.
I occupied a standard room on the 3rd floor; at 480 sq. ft. the rooms are among the largest in the city. From what I’d heard, each boasts a set of French windows that in my case overlooked the villas – peaceful, albeit somewhat disappointing; it is, after all, not uncommon to expect a garden or at least a few snoozing sunbathers by a modestly sized water body. However, this snag was made infinitely better by the fact that the choicest of linens including monogrammed pillowslips (very nice touch there!) adorned the King size beds. Warning: One will simply slip in to slumber here.
The massive marble bathroom – absolutely loved the pink marble basin platform and huge sinking tub BTW – came kitted with Oscar de la Renta toiletries. So, if the bed didn’t send you right into a state of bliss, this definitely will. Use the bedside iPad to control lighting and temperature, as well as activate the ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign by your door side. When peckish (or downright famished), the recently renovated ‘The Belvedere’ at The Peninsula Beverly Hills is a fine option, one of the finest in the city perhaps! Decked in calming hues of blue, the restaurant is casual enough for a relaxed affair yet posh enough to construct a Faberge chocolate egg if you so crave. I’ll explain.
The head chef (David Codney) was away so I was looked after by Chef Sean. This being California, there’s no shortage of veggie options. So, if like me, you’re not big on meat, dig into the Tabbouleh made using Red Quinoa and Tomatoes. The Broccoli Rabe – blanched broccoli, olive oil, chili flakes, garlic shavings and minced shallots – isn’t nearly as green as it sounds (I swear!) and perfectly flavorsome. The Orecchiette and the Risotto are pretty good too. But what you mustn’t hold out on is Stewed Tomato. Made with baby heirloom and Roma tomatoes, shallots, garlic, panko breadcrumbs and other herbs and flavorings, this one apparently comes from Chef Codney’s Grandmother’s recipe.
For dessert I tried the red velvet cake, which was a rather unique deconstructed version of what is commonly sold in bakeries (see image). However, the absolute highlight was the Faberge chocolate egg, filled with chestnut mousse, cherries and chunks of dark chocolate. Highly recommended. For drinks, hit the Club Bar I’d say, Peninsula Bellinis by its beautiful fireplace have been known to cure heartaches. And the morning after, enjoy a delectable a la carte breakfast on the Pen’s fine rooftop setting; nothing ever beat a morning of gourmet sweet-and-savories in an al fresco setting.
While I didn’t have the opportunity to experience the spa there, I can imagine that set in the Hotel’s rooftop garden and offering range of tailor-made facials and massages, it must be pretty damn extravagant. Aside from relaxing therapies one can also request one-on-one yoga and Pilates classes at the Pen. To top it all, they can end their session with a dip in the seemingly endless 60-foot outdoor pool there.
With LA being LA there is no shortage of luxury hotels. But then the Peninsula Beverly Hills is like no other luxury property. From the well crafted interiors and fine dining restaurants to the warm personalised service and the stellar location in the heart of Beverly Hills the property offers an experience like no other.
“Reviewing a Peninsula property is like reviewing a Rolls Royce, everything is just luxuriously perfect.”
Where: The Peninsula Beverly Hills
9882 S Santa Monica Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90212, USA
Phone: +1 310-551-2888